Curcumin, the most studied ‘active-ingredient’ in turmeric, is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants search out and remove free radicals in the body. These free radicals are molecules that damage cell membranes, alter DNA, and even cause cell death.
Research suggests that turmeric may be helpful for the following conditions:
Curcumin stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile, which may help improve digestion and reduce symptoms, such as gas and bloating.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Turmeric may help people with ulcerative colitis or Crohns disease stay in remission due to the anti-inflammatory response of curcumin in the body.
Because of its ability to reduce inflammation, turmeric may be beneficial in reducing pain in those suffering from osteoarthritis.
Turmeric may help prevent atherosclerosis by keeping LDL, “bad” cholesterol, from building up in blood vessels. Atherosclerosis is the buildup of plaque that can block arteries and lead to heart attack or stroke. Also, curcumin lowers the levels of two enzymes in the body that cause inflammation and stops platelets from clumping together to form blood clots.
Curcumin may help prevent and treat several types of cancers, including cancers of the prostate, breast, skin, colon, and multiple myeloma. Its preventive effects may be due to it being a strong antioxidant, protecting cells from damage.
Bacterial and Viral Infections
Turmeric has anti-microbial properties and may kill both bacteria and viruses.
Other sources claim turmeric may be beneficial in preventing or treating kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, allergies, skin conditions like eczema, and herpes viruses, which cause chicken pox and shingles. In regards to other inflammatory conditions, curcumin may be as effective as corticosteroids in treating these conditions.
*Always ask your doctor before taking turmeric in supplemental form. Turmeric may interact with certain medications.